IES Assistant Director Briefs the Belgian Parliament

H40 a Belgian Armed Forces Agusta A-109HA of 18 Squadron (3937605586)

On 21 January 2015 IES Assistant Director Alexander Mattelaer was invited to provide evidence in a public hearing organised by the Defence Committee of the Belgian Parliament. This hearing was part of a series devoted to the future of the Belgian armed forces.

In his presentation, Alexander discussed budgetary trends from a European perspective and over a generational time horizon (1980-2030). He linked this analysis of historical data to a discussion on current and future force structures, arguing that the stark decline in investment space relating to equipment and the modernisation of major platforms constituted a critical risk to national security in the 2020s. On the basis of this assessment, he suggested that the ongoing defence review led by minister Steven Vandeput should put a premium on the compression of corporate overhead, the prioritisation of adequate combat capabilities (including in cyberspace) and the safeguarding of morale in a rapidly shrinking personnel structure.

For more insights on the future of the Belgian armed forces, check out Alexander's recent IES Policy Brief.